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Mendeleev Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Dynamics of 
Climate Change Dennis Meadows Presentation to Mendeleev University Moscow, Russia 16 April, 2012 1
  • 2. Land Temperatures in
 Russia – August 2010Moscow 2
  • 3. The Globe is Becoming WarmerThe head of the state weather service, Alexander Frolov, said that the heat wave of 2010 was the worst in 1,000 years of recorded Russian history.Since the 1970s, each subsequent decade has gotten hotter – and 9 of the 10 hottest years on record occurred since 2000. 1880 1880 2020 3
  • 4. Exercise on Dynamics 4
  • 5. Outline of My Remarks• Facts about climate change.• Simple thought exercise on dynamics of flows and stocks.• My theory of connection between CO2 emissions and damage from climate change.• Summary of the evolution of climate critics.• Somepositive feedback loops that may counteract our efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions.• Some changes required in policy if we wish to slow down the rise in CO2. 5
  • 6. Some Influences on Heat Balance• Changes in the intensity of the sun• Changes in natural absorption and reflectivity (volcanic aerosols, cloud cover)• Changes in reflection (ice cover, tree cover)• Changes in composition of the atmosphere 6
  • 7. CO2 Concentration 1972 7
  • 8. Facts about Atmospheric CO2• Two sources of data: – Mauna Loa, HI observatory (50 years) – Ice core data (several thousand years)• CO2 from fossil fuels is unique, so it is clear the increase comes from combustion.• 40% remains in the atmosphere; the rest goes equally into plants and the sea.• CO2 concentration is now 30% – 40% greater than preindustrial levels and it is expected to double or triple by 2100. 8
  • 9. Current level400,000 200,000 0 Years before today (0 = 1950) 9
  • 10. Climate Change is More Than Global Warming:• Changes in precipitation area and intensity of fluctua- tions (more floods, more droughts, bigger deserts)• Shifting ecological and cultivation zones• Growing acidity in the ocean• Greater instability in winds• Migration of pests, diseases, pollinators• Rising sea level• Melting of permafrost• Migration of people and industry 10
  • 11. Precipitation is Becoming More Extreme• Worldwide, 2010 and 2011 were the wettest years over land in recorded history.• In the United States 7 states had their wettest year in history in 2011; several others had their driest year in recorded history. • Artic ice fell to its lowest volume in history in 2011. • Western El Salvador, received nearly 1.5 meters of rain in 10 days. 11
  • 12. 12
  • 13. Simple Thought Exercise 13
  • 14. Bath Tub Dynamics In Level Out 14
  • 15. Bath Tub Dynamics In 10 Levelt=oLevel 0 Out 15
  • 16. Behavior of the WaterLevelt=0 = 8, In = 0, Out = 010 0 0 Time 50 16
  • 17. Behavior of the WaterLevelt=0 = 8, In = 0, Out = 010 0 0 Time 50 17
  • 18. Bath Tub Dynamics In 10 Levelt=0Level 0 Out 18
  • 19. Behavior of the WaterLevelt=o = 8, In = 0, Outt = Levelt /1010 0 0 Time 50 19
  • 20. Behavior of the Water10 0 0 Time 30 50 20
  • 21. Bath Tub Dynamics In 10 Levelt=0Level 0 Out 21
  • 22. Behavior of the Water• Levelt=0 = 0, Outt = Level / 10, Int = (graph)41 In0 0 10 50 Time 22
  • 23. Computer Model of the Bath Tub In Outt = Levelt /10 Level =10 23
  • 24. Behavior of the Water Outt = Levelt / 104 Level In Out0 24
  • 25. Main Lessons From Bathtub Dynamics• The level will continue to increase for an extended period even after the input starts to decline. • Even after you take the input to zero, the level takes a very long time to disappear 25
  • 26. Computer Model of Three Bathtubs in Series Acceptable L3 = 5Normal ALT1 = 10 ALT2 = 10In = 0.2 26
  • 27. Dynamics of the Three-Tub System In Acceptable L3 = 5 27
  • 28. Dynamics of the Three-Tub System Delay = 50 Maximum L3 = 35 In Acceptable L3 = 5 28
  • 29. My Model of the Climate System 29
  • 30. The Evolution of Climate Criticisms• Climate is not changing.• Climate is changing, but we are not the cause.• We are causing climate change, but it is late to stop it. 30
  • 31. Use all possible policies 31
  • 32. Four Factors Determine the Amount of CO2 Emissions© Dennis Meadows; 2007 32
  • 33. Stop using discounted cash
 flows to make decisions 33
  • 34. The Stern Review recommended urgent,immediate, and sharp reductions ingreenhouse-gas emissions. These findingsdiffer markedly from economic models thatcalculate least-cost emissions paths tostabilize concentrations or paths thatbalance the costs and benefits of emissionsreductions. I find that the difference stems almost entirelyfrom its technique for calculating discounts. - William Nordhaus in Science July 25, 2007 34
  • 35. Relying on Present 
 Net Value to Choose Assumes:• All consequences of an action are known• All consequences can be expressed in monetary units; they are commensurate• We are the ones entitled to pick the interest rate• Maximizing financial benefits is the goal of society• Current mistakes can be corrected by paying some cost in the futureEvery single one of these assumptions is false for the issue of climate change!! 35
  • 36. Increase the planning time
horizon of the government 36
  • 37. Easy Problems Action #1 DesiredBetter -------> Actual Action #2 Now Future Next Evaluation 37
  • 38. Difficult Problems Action #1 Action #2 DesiredBetter -------> Actual Now Future Next Evaluation 38
  • 39. Prevent ecological processes
 from taking control of 
 greenhouse gas emissions. 39
  • 40. The Climate Change System 40
  • 41. Potential Sources of Non-LinearityPositive Feedback Loops• Ice cover -> heat reflection• Tundra melt -> methane release• Water vapour -> heat capture• Temperature -> forest growth -> CO2 capture• Sea temperature -> methane hydrate meltSaturation• Loss of ocean capacity to buffer CO2 in airCataclysm• Massive fresh water release into the gulf stream 41
  • 42. Artic Ice Cover 42
  • 43. Ice Cover Feedback Loop + Heat Reflected From Earth Ice Cover + Temperature Of the Air Melting Of Ice + 43
  • 44. 44
  • 45. Exercise on Action 45